With chapters like "Arithmetic Is Not Dull," You Can Teach Your Child Successfully might still seem like a stretch to some parents. But Ruth Beechick isn't concerned with convincing readers it's possible, she simply shows them how to do it, offering practical advice rather than abstruse theory and educational philosophy. A follow-up to the foundational The Three R's, this book elaborates on that information for grades 4-8.
Chapters can be read in any order. This is important for two reasons: it demonstrates the tool-oriented nature of the book, and it shows that Beechick isn't busy constructing complex arguments. Instead, she offers practical advice and doable ideas for improving your kids' basic skills as well as expanding on them to include the broader curriculum (science, art, music, Bible, history, etc.).
The practical element of You Can Teach Your Child Successfully cannot be overemphasized. Parts 1-3 cover reading, writing and math respectively, with grade level guidelines in the math section to help keep your students on track. Part 4 discusses subjects beyond the basics, how and when to teach them, and the primary objectives associated with each.
Educational philosophy is present, of course. Beechick argues for reading as the fundamental academic skill because it facilitates the acquisition of knowledge; she stresses the need to instill math facts before moving to abstract problems; and she rejects textbooks for the most part as insufficient vehicles of knowledge. But all the philosophy is eminently practical, and she never explores the theory behind it.
For instance, she doesn't go into detail about the theoretical background of the law of association (multiplication), she simply offers guidelines for presenting the information. You probably won't find everything you need—but pretty close. A favorite of home educators since its appearance in 1988, You Can Teach Your Child Successfully shows you how in energetic prose that is as thorough as it needs to be.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
Did you find this review helpful?